Getting there Pilgrims pick their own starting points along the Via Francigena. The route signs begin at Piacenza, about a half-hour south of Milan by train. In Fidenza, visit the Via Francigena Society (16, Piazza Duomo, 011-39-052-453-0449 ), where you can buy maps and get other information.
Where to stay
``The Guide to Lodging in Italy's Monasteries" by Eileen Barish (Anacapa , 2003) is a useful reference. Pilgrims as a rule do not make reservations in hotels because they don't know how far they will travel in a given day. Locals are often helpful in finding lodgings as you go.
Up-to-date information about the Via Francigena can be found on-line at www.francigena.ch . To obtain a pilgrim's passport before you walk the Via Francigena, visit www.associazioneviafrancigena.com and download the document. Present it at tourist offices, churches , and monasteries along the way to be stamped to confirm the distances you have traveled. In Rome, take the passport to the Vatican Pilgrim and Tourist Information Office (Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, Piazza Pio XII, 9) for validation.